Chile coach Marcelo Bielsa admitted his side lacked the necessary punch to trouble Brazil on Monday after they were beaten 3-0 in and exited the FIFA World Cup™. Brazil have now set up a mouth-watering quarter-final against the Dutch in Port Elizabeth on Friday, while Chile licked their wounds after a sixth successsive loss to their South American rivals.
"I had hoped we would have got closer to Brazil, it wasn't such a one-way match. We had some good chances coming down the right side, but we lacked the necessary punch to convert dangerous situations into goals," said Bielsa. "We weren't able to attack with a real hunger for goals. We tried to score, we got close, but had few genuine chances to score."
After nearly three years in charge, the Argentinian said now is not the time to decide whether he will continue as Chile coach. After guiding Chile to South Africa, their first FIFA World Cup finals since France 98, a disappointed Bielsa said he will wait before deciding his future. "The situation is not right for an evaluation," he said. "You can never leave such a tournament without a feeling of disappointment. You would give anything to continue, I just feel sad and disappointed. I am sorry."
The Argentinian admitted his side were always playing catch-up against Brazil. "The players made a huge efffort to showcase their talent and prove their worth," said the 54-year-old. "Right or wrong, we tried to impose our methods within the idea of some noble play.
We weren't able to attack with a real hunger for goals. We tried to score, we got close, but had few genuine chances to score.
"We fought hard, but it was a good and valuable performance. It is sad to know we are not in the tournament any longer. We have seen that it was difficult for us to get the ball towards the players who were free, where the spaces were open. But Brazil were quick to open up every crack in our defence.
"It is very hard when you are behind against Brazil, they take a corner and they have players queuing up, they have four men who can head the ball well and you never know where the attack is coming from. It is difficult to adapt when a team has such a huge advantage."
Bielsa admitted the gulf in class between his side and the star-studded Brazilians was too great to bridge. "The last half an hour we were able to work well, but it was shown today the gaps between the smaller and bigger teams do exist," he said. "Chile played well, but Brazil managed to score on every third attack and it is hard to cope with that. Maybe we could have conceded one less goal."
When asked by a Dutch journalist if there were weaknesses in Brazil's game for Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk to exploit, Bielsa gave a curt reply. "I haven't really looked at Holland that closely, but how can I talk about Brazilian weaknesses after we lost 3-0?"